Dear Friends in Christ across the Parish of the Valley,
On Saturday, December 18th, your clergy team and churchwardens received a special COVID Communiqué from Bishop Shane Parker and our Anglican Diocese of Ottawa senior staff. You can read the Special Communiqué in full by clicking here. Your clergy team conferenced tonight, and what follows is a summary of how these developments will affect us here in the Parish of the Valley.
As of 12pm on Christmas Day, all churches in the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa must move back to “Red” stage, meaning online and television services only. This means that there will be no 10am service at St. Stephen’s Micksburg on Sunday December 26th, or anywhere else in the parish on Sunday January 2nd and the Sundays to follow. Our parish clergy team and lay worship leaders will be working together closely in the coming days as we transition as a parish back to online and television worship services until further notice.
Friends, we know this news will come as a deep disappointment to many of us, but will not come as a surprise given recent developments in our province. It is nevertheless painful for us to deliver as a team and we know difficult for you to receive. However, we also know that this decision has not been taken lightly by Bishop Shane and our diocesan leadership team and is based on the rapid increase in new COVID-19 cases across our province driven by the omicron variant. COVID-19 has reminded us of what a privilege it is to be able to gather freely for worship, and to support each other as Christians through sacraments, song and prayer. Please be assured that your clergy team is upholding all members of our Parish of the Valley in prayer, and that we will resume in-person services in the New Year just as soon as it is safe to do so. However you choose to worship this Christmas, we wish you all a safe, happy and healthy holiday season.
Yours faithfully in Christ,
Bishop Michael, Canon Susan, Rev. Mathew & Rev. Gillian